In this article, we will explore gold In The Bible and take a deep dive into its symbolism, meaning, and more. So grab your Bible, and let’s learn…
Gold – a precious metal that has captivated the hearts and minds of mankind for centuries. It’s lustrous glow and timeless appeal have made it a symbol of wealth, power, and beauty throughout history.
Yet, beyond its material value, gold holds a deeper, more profound significance within the pages of the Bible. Gold is not a man-made metal but a gift from the Earth created by God. Gold is made to be beautiful and of great value and does not corrode or tarnish. It was used as a form of money in all cultures.
As we delve into the symbolism of gold in the Christian faith, we will uncover how this precious commodity has been used to convey messages of divine wisdom, purity, and even the glory of God Himself. From the construction of the Ark of the Covenant to the gifts presented to the baby Jesus by the Magi, gold has played a pivotal role in some of the most significant moments in biblical history.
Although gold is precious, one thing is more desirable than gold: the fear of God and His laws and judgments.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. – Psalm 19:9-10
The Symbolic Meaning Of Gold In The Bible
This precious metal is mentioned 417 times in the KJV Bible. In the Bible, gold is always depicted as a symbol of wealth and stability.
In the Old and New Testaments, kings and queens paid for services and goods in gold. Gold is also a sign of power the nobility and the wealthy use. Gold was used extensively in jewelry for the rich as a show of wealth and power.
The churches were decorated with gold, as we read in Exodus 25:8-11, where God tells Moses to build a tabernacle adorned with gold, precious gems, and fine linens.
We also read about Solomon’s Temple in 1 Kings 6:29-30, which was decorated in gold and other precious metals. The symbolic use of gold in God’s house is seen as majestic, powerful, holy, and a sign of great value and social significance.
Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries. – 1 Kings 6:29-30
But it was not only the Christians who used gold in their places of worship. Many times, God’s people turned away from God’s teachings. They created idols from gold and worshipped them (Psalms 135:15-18).
An example was the golden calf made from gold when the Israelites were waiting for Moses, who had gone up to the mountain to speak with God. (Exodus 32:1-8)
In biblical times gold was viewed as a blessing from God. Abraham was gifted gold and wealth from God, and the people saw this as God pouring His blessing on him. (Genesis 24:34-35)
The Spiritual Meaning Of Gold In The Bible
In the Bible, gold symbolizes value, wealth, worth, and purity, and God’s glory is also seen as pure and refined gold. Below are the spiritual meanings of gold in the Bible.
Gold Is Pure
Gold is formed and purified to adorn or make precious and valuable items. Refining gold brings out all the layers of impurities until it is molded into beautiful metal.
Even fire does not destroy gold; instead, it makes it purer. Christian believers also go through a form of purification by being cleansed of their sins and accepting Jesus as their savior before they become reborn Christians.
In the Bible, we read about God refining believers, and in Job 23:10, Job tells us that he will be like fine gold when he has been tested by God. When we go through difficult times, our faith is often tested.
Still, if we endure and remain faithful, we will be like fine gold (Jeremiah 9:7). The spiritual meaning of refining gold used as sanctification reminds us how God is with us through the good and bad times.
If you are curious to learn more about this, then please check out The Power of the Refiner’s Fire In Your Life
God’s Spiritual Gifts Are Worth Much More Than Gold
The spiritual gifts we receive from God as believers, such as the gift of faith, healing, forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit, are far greater than gifts of gold.
In Acts 3:6, Peter tells the lame man that he has no silver or gold to give him, but if he has faith, Jesus of Nazareth will heal him.
This remarkable miracle can also be ours if we repent and accept Jesus as our savior. All our crippled and fallen nature will fall away.
In Galatians 5:22-26, Paul tells us about the fruit of the Holy Spirit that manifests within a believer’s life. We experience joy, love, peace, and so much more when we have the Holy Spirit and walk in His ways.
How Gold Is Prophetically Used In Scripture
Gold is mentioned in the Bible from the first book of Genesis in the Old Testament to the last book of Revelations in the New Testament. Below are a few passages where gold is used prophetically in scripture.
Adam’s Descendants Were Given Gold
In Genesis 2:10-12, we read that the river flowing out of Eden to the land of Havilah was where gold could be found. This gold was exceptionally pure.
This signifies gold as a precious gift from God that was given to Adam and his descendants because God showered His love on him. This richness in the land was created for humankind to enjoy so that we may prosper.
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Statue
In the book of Daniel 3:1-25, we read about King Nebuchadnezzar, who had a golden statue built for the people to worship. But Daniel and his 3 friends, who were placed in high positions in the king’s court, did not bow down to the statue, and they were thrown into a fiery furnace.
King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished that these men sang God’s praises within the fire.
Then he saw the 4th person walking in the flames and described him as the ‘son of the gods’ (Daniel
3:24-27). Even when we are going through hardships, and it feels as if God is sometimes not there, He is always there even when we don’t feel close to Him.
A Christian Cannot Serve God And Money/Gold
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. – Mathew 6:24-26
The Bible teaches us in Mathew 6:24-26 that we cannot have two masters. This means that we cannot serve God and also have money as a god. God urges us not to store treasures here on Earth but instead store treasures in Heaven.
He urges us not to make money the center of our lives and that we should worship only God so that we may one day be with Him in Heaven.
God promises that if we serve Him, He will look after our every need because we are precious to Him (Matthew 6:33).
The Messiah Will Be Like A Blazing Fire That Refines Metals
The prophet Malachi tells us how God’s people are not faithful, but He will send a Messiah to accomplish His promises. In Malachi 2:3, we read that Jesus will be like a refiner’s fire.
This is a prophecy about how the Messiah will cleanse and purify His people, like fire purifies gold and valuable metals.
Jesus Advises The Laodicea To Buy Refined Gold
Jesus tells the Laodicea that they need not go to the market to buy gold but can instead buy refined gold from Him. This refined gold symbolizes an exemplary character that only comes from being tested through fire and can only be obtained from God.
This is a spiritual exchange and not a monetary one (Revelations 3:18). If they buy this refined gold from God, they will have spiritual wealth and true faith, which cannot decay or be destroyed.
The Streets Of The New City Are Paved With Gold
In Revelations 21, we read of the prophecy of the 2nd coming of Jesus and the new city that will be paved with gold, and the streets will be perfect and clear as crystal.
The symbolic use of gold and clear crystal in the only street flowing through this city symbolizes how Christians must be refined and purified to enter. We can enter through the city by confessing our sins, and through the blood of Jesus, we are forgiven.
In Revelations 21:21-23 we are told that the Glory of God lit up the city and there was no need for the sun or the moon. There was also no temple as God and the Lamb were its temple. This is the promise that is to come at the end of days.
The Historical Uses Of Gold Within Biblical Culture
Gold was a commodity that had many uses within biblical culture, and we read about this in the Old and New Testaments. It was used for:
- Currency – gold was measured in talents or shekels. Today a talent would be equal to about 30kg. In 1 Kings 10:14-15, we read about the amount of gold King Solomon received each year. This demonstrates the importance of gold and that it was a great source of wealth.
- Decorations and jewelry – in the biblical culture, gold was used to decorate buildings and places of worship. In Exodus 25:17-22, God tells Moses to build an ark of the covenant out of wood and cover the lid in pure gold. The lid was known as the mercy seat. Many artifacts within the Tabernacle and other places of worship were made from gold.
In the Bible, we read of gold jewelry often given as a gift. In Genesis 24:53, the servant of Abraham gifted Rebekah, who was to marry Isaac, gold jewelry and to her mother and brother ornaments of gold.
- Gold was given as a gift – throughout the Bible, gold was given as a gift to someone valued as important. When Jesus was born, the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This highlights the importance of gold given as a gift. (Matthew 2:11).
Gold was a treasured and precious metal in Biblical times, and even today, gold is still a much-valued commodity throughout the globe.
In the Bible, gold was seen as a commodity of great wealth and influence. It was used as money, to make jewelry, and to adorn buildings and churches. Gold is not man-made but is a richness found in the land and is a gift from
God. The spiritual meaning of gold is purity, as it goes through much refining before it becomes pure gold. So too, do we, as Christians, go through difficult times to be refined and become pure in heart.
Gold is also used prophetically in the Bible. We read that the glory of God is like a blazing fire and that refined gold, which is symbolic of an exemplary character, can only be received from God.
Gold is also seen as a god of money, and Christians cannot worship God and money. Spiritual gold is when we have faith and make God the center of our lives. It is far better than any gold and can never be destroyed.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…